Monday, December 29, 2008

Confidence Game

When big businesses decide they need new leadership at the top, they have to explain the rationale to the media. One goal is to give their customers confidence that the change is well considered and needed.

The owner of the New York Jets faced such a challenge today -- and fumbled.

After a disappointing 9-7 season in which the Jets failed to make the NFL playoffs, the team's ownership decided to fire coach Eric Mangini

In trying to explain the decision to the media today, Owner Woody Johnson said:
"There's nothing specific. It's just a call that we made and hopefully it is correct."
Gosh, now that's convincing. Hopefully Woody? Couldn't you at least pretend that you are confident in what you have done?

To make matters worse, Johnson told reporters that the Jets plan to get right on the job of finding a replacement for Mangini.
"We will very quickly start... looking under every rock for talent," he said.
Hmm. Another confidence builder.

Football is not just a game. It is a multi-billion dollar business. So when top executives set out to talk to the media, they ought to think through the meaning of their words first -- rather than scrambling around and throwing out phrases like a third-string quarterback tossing up "Hail Marys" when it is 4th and 20.

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